A Visit to the Isle of Gigha

Last August, whilst spending a very rainy week in Argyll, the sun miraculously made an appearance. We chose to utilize this window of good weather, by making a trip to the small island of Gigha for a few hours. Gigha is community owned and lies just a twenty minute ferry ride from the beautiful Kintyre peninsula.

We parked our car at Tayinloan and after sampling excellent hot chocolates at Big Jessie’s Tearoom, eagerly awaited our ferry, the Loch Ranza. The ferry is run by Caledonian MacBrayne (commonly known as CalMac), the main operator of Scotland’s West Coast ferries. It amazed us that even though it felt like we were a million miles from anywhere, Ian had just had a latte made by the fanciest coffee machine I’d ever seen and there was free WIFI available at the ferry terminal (even though it was just a slipway!).066

Excitedly, we climbed the stairs and sat up on the deck of the ferry. The kids loved it, especially as we set sail and began to approach our destination. About halfway through our journey, something strange began to happen. When we left Tayinloan, the sea had been a navy blue colour but as we got nearer to Gigha, it was turning the true turquoise associated with the Scottish islands.068

Gigha on a sunny day was stunningly beautiful. Words just can’t describe the incredible feeling that this special place evoked. Silver-white sands extended into clear rippling water, whilst on the land an abundance of wild flowers grew and I was mesmerized.076079

The sea drew us like a magnet and we were soon pulling off our shoes and socks, eager for a paddle. I expected the water to be freezing (after all, we’d had the heating on in our caravan in Inveraray all week!) but it was actually nicely bearable. The water in the bay was very shallow and the sun had given it a little warmth. We paddled and wandered for about two hours, which passed heartbreakingly quickly. I remember thinking that this would be a memory that would stay with us all forever. Even falling over head first in the sea, hadn’t unduly disturbed Natasha!088

087We walked along to The Boathouse restaurant and purchased really delicious ice-creams. Sitting eating them, looking across the sea back to the mainland, in the warm sun, was bliss.124

All too soon, it was time to catch the ferry back. I would love to return to Gigha one day but think next time I would pay the extra to take the car across, so we could load it up with buckets and spades, spare clothes, towels and a picnic etc. We were lucky enough to visit on a lovely afternoon but I’m sure even in bad weather, it would still be beautiful. We only explored a small part of the island because we didn’t want to stop paddling! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this magical place to anyone, with or without children.

 

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